Monday, September 30, 2013

Cooking: GO Big Blue!

When my girls were little and asked what was for dinner I would tell them...
"poop on a stick". Yes, I know...twisted and gross. But bathroom humor is huge with little kids and at my house, all the time. So, when I told them something disgusting and nasty, they would be relieved it was baked sweet potatoes and chicken. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
Yesterday, my youngest asked what was for dinner and when I told her, she said "I miss the days of poop on a stick". Boom...tradition. 

My week this week is pretty easy. Only one late night and no swim meets.
Friday is the  Baylor/ McCallie game, so we are all hyped up this week. 

 Chattanooga looks a lot like this... with these flags everywhere...

Go Tornadoes Casa Swann Menu
  • homemade sauce/meatballs/ Greek Salad
  • Tomato zucchini soup/ sausages
  • Fish tacos/ southwest quinoa salad
  • chili

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Whatever: Emergency

Today was a really odd day.I was in tears in the bathroom at work before 9 am.
Then I had a great uplifting conversation with co-worker about if I was weird in high school..which was a funny question to be asked. My day ended with my passing in traffic a converted ambulance that was a grilled cheese food truck. Apparently "Grilled Cheese Emergency" is a thing. 
That made my day. 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dirt: Tomorrow is my mother's birthday

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday.
My mother that gave birth to me, not the one who lives here in Tennessee and is the "mom".
My mother, who was a puzzle that was missing pieces for most of my life.

She passed away a year ago, July. The anniversary of her death was only a day to me. Not because I am callous, but because I don't make not of death dates. On purpose. 

Last year, her birthday wasn't something that stuck out, terribly. I was a little freaked when facebook notified me. But her being gone was still so new, I was in a daze. This year her birthday is something I am actually aware of. The day has been looming on the horizon since my birthday, 19 days ago.
My whole life she told me we celebrated our first 20 together. She turned 20 years old the day I turned 20 days old. 

I am still processing what an unfinished relationship ours was. We were not close. She had many issues that I could not allow to be part of my life. My life in my 20's and 30's when I was trying to make sense of what I now know are the scars of a childhood spent being raised by children.

But as I entered my 40s, I was almost there. Almost ready to make room in my life for her. Do I regret not having a better relationship? That is complicated. I have raised my girls knowing stability and routine. A family that is not chaotic and full of unfulfilled promises. But part of me is indeed sad that Delaney and Ellie will miss that part of me. The part of me that was a momma's girl until 4th grade. The part of me the knows crazy songs and silly jokes. The part of me that is my mother.

I have spent the past 14 months dealing with a dark depression that I have only shared with a few close friends and Steve. My heart is finally coming out from under the burden of guilt and unsureness about her death. I finally am able to think about her birthday with sadness and happiness, both. She is not here. 
She is not hurting or trying to be happy or trying to not make promises she cannot fulfill. 
But she is also not waiting on me to call or come by and that is the sad part of tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gratituesday: The Fox

Gratituesday is back!

Yesterday my kids showed me the video for one of the most hilarious songs I have heard lately.
I told Steve last night that I am so thankful for silly songs, rather than the twerking cr@P that has been all over the radio lately. The world is such a scary place to raise daughters.
Well, scary place in general.

So, instead of licking hammers and dancing around naked with fully clothed men,

I am grateful for


Sunday, September 22, 2013

COOKING:Monday Menu

Snippity, Snappity...the weekend flies by.

Fun, relaxing weekend with a fun week ahead. 
Steve and I have two fun dates this week and I will hopefully remember to take pictures! 

This weeks menu includes easy food for the girls and lots of protein for me. 
It's Fall Y'all Menu
  • Southwest chicken/Frittata/ Southwest quinoa salad
  • Balsamic Chicken/ Greek Salad
  • Meatballs/tomato soup
  • Shrimp boil/red beans
  • Chili

Whatever: Weekends

This was a nice relaxing weekend at Casa Swann. I worked Thursday night to get the house ready for Steve's guy cookout that he and his buddies take turns hosting every other Friday. They are all gourmet cooks (one owns a local bakery that makes artisan bread) and so they hangout usually grill and create fancy food. And talk about politics and fitness. Lucky for me, it is while I am at work.

Having the house work done, left the weekend for free time. 
Steve and I went out Friday night to hear locals give short talks in a TED talk type format. This local event is called PechaKucha, and is one of the most interesting things I have attended in Chattanooga. After listening to the talks (20 slides,20 seconds each) we went to hear some live music. One of our newest favorites, The Brother's Comatose stopped in Chattanooga on their way to a huge festival in Bristol. Needless to say, we had a late night, which was fine since the girl both stayed over at friends houses.

We had planned to go trail running, but decided to sleep in since it was raining. We headed to get brunch at 10:30 and found our favorite breakfast spot full with a long line. So we headed over to the newest addition to Chattanooga restaurants, Tupelo Honey,which opened Monday.

The rest of the afternoon was spent picking up kids, working out, finishing a few projects and watching the terrible Tennessee/Florida game. Delaney and I were racing to finish the same e-book (I won) and sat on the couch reading for most of the early evening.

The girls and I watched a movie (a rare treat). 
 I will miss them when they are gone and I have all the time in the world to do whatever I will want. But in the meantime, I will enjoy every time we have a free, relaxing weekend.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dirt: GO VOLS!

We seem to be getting our feet back under us. 
So, I am screaming at the television and my kids are rolling their eyes...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Menu: Computers are people too

After yesterday's post, I am sure I seem like a holier than thou parent.
Far from it. I am just learning and sharing the trip. Bumps and all.

We are entering a brave new world and I for one have mixed feelings about it. 
I love my technology, am addicted to the stuff. My kids are as well. Which is hard. Brains are getting wired and it makes me concerned that computers are doing the wiring instead of the other way around.

One thing I love about my computer use is documentation of mine and my family stories. 
We are losing generations. My grandmother is the last of that generation in my family and I have not seen her in two years. Hard. The last two times I spent time with her, I wrote her stories down. She has some amazing ones, which she thinks are silly or not important.

Blogging for me, is a way to keep track of some of my stories, during my 4th decade alive. My kids will remember most of the stuff I blog about so I wish I had done it earlier.

Computers. Love 'em or leave 'em.

Casa Swann Menu Last Week of Summer
  • Homemade sauce and meatballs/ sour dough bread/ 
  • Crockpot Balsamic chicken/sauteed kale/ grilled zucchini
  • Italian sausage/ kale and quinoa salad/ grilled peppers and onions
  • Frittata
*I bought $10 of kale at the farmer's market  Sunday...which translates in about $40 at the store

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dirt: I'm a little controlling...

* Warning:This is a little preachy and defensive...

 I catch a whiff of how I am viewed by other moms occasionally.
I am sometimes shocked at how rigid they see me. I am "the mom with no junk food in her house" "the mom who does not allow American Dad to be watched"  "the mom who grows her own food". 
These are all true, at least in part. I don't buy a lot of junk food as my family lacks the ability to ration. "These people" include me.I believe television is for entertainment and I personally love it. But I believe kids internalize what is "okay" by watching shows. Hence ICarly and Caillou were also banned. (If you don't know why, watch an episode.) I am also a "organic gardener" meaning I grow basil and and tomatoes.
Sad tomatoes.
One mom recently recalled my child refusing to watch something at her house because she was in 3rd grade and  not allowed. She initially said it was  Spongebob (which I know was an exaggeration, because I love Spongebob). Her point was made, however. I am the overprotective mom. And I am. When it comes
 to junk, I am. Brain junk, food junk, junk mail, I am reluctant to just set my kids free. (My daughter just reminded me I bought a copy of Teen Vogue and read it cover to cover before I bought a subscription for her.) I will admit, I am a little controlling.

But my feelings, no, my belief is this. You can always give more, it is much harder to take it back. Putting your kid on a diet? Heartbreaking. Removing a fact learned about sex or drugs before someone is truly mature enough to handle it? Impossible. Taking back is really hard.

We have made numerous mistakes along the way. Hearing the rudest things come out of our kids mouths after hours of watching television. The casual treatment of things given at too early an age. The over-indulgence on the junk foods which are chemically created to encourage just that.

My kids are not living in a bubble by any means. We are lovers of junk. 
Up until we had kids, we watched television with abandon, including while we ate dinner. 
We still "treat" ourselves to weekly Italian ice, popsicles, ice cream and more.(Sunday's at the farmer's market are a free for all of Italian Ice and corn dogs).My kids love Walking Dead and never miss an episode. My oldest child, like me, swears like a sailor.
Junk, junk, junk.

My youngest would live on a diet of boxed macaroni and cheese, processed chicken "nuggets" and ice cream, if allowed. However, as a parent and guide, it is my job to make sure they don't find their way without help.

I know I am not alone in this.  There are so many parents, most smarter and better educated than me ( Laura Ingalls Wilder, You Had the Right Idea ), who are invested in what is going on with their kids. I wonder if they are shocked when they get a glimpse of how they are perceived?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cooking: corn bread and butter beans

Oh Snap!
We had a fun weekend of Powerlifting and early birthday celebrating. 
Love the Labor Day weekend, even though I mourn the end of summer. Football starts and smack talk begins. Things calm down to a run instead of a sprint on the school front and life gets a schedule.

Casa Swann Labor Day Menu
  • Grilled bone in chicken thighs, Black eyed pea salad, roasted okra
  •  Baked chicken thighs, butter beans, sauteed spinach, corn bread
  • Southwest fish cakes, roasted veggies, kale and quinoa salad
  • Salmon burgers, sweet potato fries